The Bible provides clear instructions on how followers of the true God can distinguish a false prophet. In the Bible book of Deuteronomy chapter 18 in verses 20-22 it indicates the following according to the New World Translation:
"However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: 'How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?' when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him."
Is the Watchtower Society a false prophet? We will examine what their very own writings and teachings have to say on the matter. In this entry we will focus on the year 1975.
Notice the following writings of the Watchtower Society:
The magazine Awake! From October 18, 1966 on page 19 states:
"In what year, then, would the first 6,000 years of man's existence and also the first 6,000 years of God's rest day come to an end? The year 1975."
Our Kingdom Ministry from March 1968 on page 4 states:
"Just think, brothers, there are only about ninety months left before 6,000 years of man’s existence on earth is completed. Do you remember what we learned at the assemblies last summer? The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out..."
The Watchtower from August 15, 1968 states in the bound volume on page 499:
"Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly…It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years."
Our Kingdom Ministry from June 1969 on page 3 states the following:
"…in view of the short time left, a decision to pursue a career in this system of things is not only unwise but extremely dangerous....Many young brothers and sisters were offered scholarship or employment that promised fine pay. However, they turned them down and put spiritual interests first."
The Watchtower, October 15, 1969 when researched in the bound volume found on page 623:
"More recently earnest researchers of the Holy Bible have made a recheck of its chronology. According to their calculations the six millenniums of mankind’s life on earth would end in the mid seventies. Thus the seventh millennium from man’s creation by Jehovah God would begin within less than ten years...Would not, then, the end of six millenniums of mankind’s enslavement under Satan the Devil be the fitting time for Jehovah God to usher in a Sabbath millennium for his human creatures? Yes, Indeed!"
Our Kingdom Ministry on page 3 in the May 1974 edition states:
"Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world's end."
The Truth Book, primary study aid for Jehovah’s Witnesses to use with Bible Students published prior to the year 1975 reads as follows on page 9 under ‘Grand Blessings from God Near at Hand!’:
“Also, as reported back in 1960, a former United States Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, declared that our time is "a period of unequaled instability, unequaled violence." And he warned: "I know enough of what is going on to assure you that, in fifteen years from today, this world is going to be too dangerous to live in." [Note: 15 years from 1960=1975]
While all of the above proved to be false prophecies, does this mean the Watchtower Society is a false prophet? While the Watchtower Society has made false statements and predicitions, have they claimed to be prophets?
Notice this last claim made by the Watchtower Society from the Watchtower April 1, 1972, found in the bound volume on page 197:
"'They Shall Know that a Prophet Was Among Them'...This “prophet” was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses. They are still proclaiming a warning, and have been joined and assisted in their commissioned work by hundreds of thousands of persons who have listened to their message with belief.”
The Watchtower Society themselves have claimed to be prophets whether they are called Jehovah's Witnesses or what they were known prior as "International Bible Students".
Interestingly, here's some additional insight by the Watchtower Society:
"Jehovah, the God of the true prophets, will put all false prophets to shame either by not fulfilling the false prediction of such self-assuming prophets or by having His own predictions fulfilled in a way opposite to that predicted by the false prophets." – From Paradise Restored to Mankind - by Theocracy on page 47.
The Watchtower Society also published these words in the Watchtower from April 15, 1972 as can be located in the bound volume on page 250:
“The Bible gives us a striking example of this. It emphasizes the point that, even though sincere, an individual or even an entire organization can fall far short of exclusive devotion to God.”
Indeed, God has shown the Watchtower Society to be false prophets, and yes the entire organization has fallen short of exclusive devotion to God. When an organization’s leaders prove to be false prophets, should a person follow and trust the directions and instructions they provide?
Do not confuse individual Jehovah’s Witnesses with the organization as a whole. You may know sincere individuals who are Jehovah’s Witnesses; but who are they following? Who provides instructions and directions for them? What publications are used? Is not the Watchtower Society using the Watchtower, Kingdom Ministries, and other publications that have been highlighted above?
What false prophecies is the Watchtower Society teaching now as “The Truth”?
The council found in 1 John 4:1 is certainly fitting for Jehovah’s Witnesses and any individual who follows any person, organization's teachings or writings:
“…do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.”